By Okodili Ndidi, Abuja
The National Security Adviser Major General Babagana Monguno (rtd) has ordered an immediate shutdown of illegal security outfits operating in the country.
He warned against the use of such outfits to harass, intimidate and extort Nigerians.
The NSA also cautioned individuals and organisations as well as foreign partners on activities of one of such outfits, NATFORCE, which he said was illegally formed to combat importation and smuggling of ammunition and light weapons.
Head, Strategic Communication Office of The National Security Adviser, ZM Usman, in a statement, explained: “The Office of the National Security Adviser has directed the immediate dismantling of all illegal security outfits and warned against the use of these outfits to extort, harass and intimidate Nigerians”.
“In particular, the Office has cautioned individuals, organizations and foreign partners on the activities of NATFORCE which was illegally formed as a taskforce to combat illegal importation and smuggling of small arms, ammunitions and light weapons into Nigeria.
“The National Centre for the Control of Small Arms and Light Weapons (NCCSALW) domiciled in the Office of the National Security Adviser is the national coordination mechanism for the control and monitoring of the proliferation of small arms and light weapons in Nigeria. The Office of the National Security Adviser has observed with concern the proliferation of illegal security outfits in the country.
“These illegal outfits have been masquerading and acting as part of the Nigerian security architecture while extorting, harassing and intimidating Nigerians.
“One of such groups is NATFORCE which seeks to combat illegal importation of Arms, Ammunition, Light Weapons, Chemical Weapons and Pipeline Vandalism and has been involved in mounting of illegal roadblocks, conducting illegal searches, seizures and recruitment.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the general public and all stakeholders are to note that NATFORCE is an illegal outfit without any mandate or authority to carry out these functions. This trend is unacceptable and the promoters of NATFORCE are warned to dismantle their structures and operations immediately”.